Maps have always been more like portraits than portrayals. They are historical, sketching a place at a point in time, always in the past. The MIT Senseable City Lab aims to bring maps into the present tense. Real Time Rome is a proof of concept, a series of cartographic representations of the city, updated with real-time data from public transportation systems, cellular tower usage patterns, and much more.
This is fascinating stuff, especially when you start thinking about the relationship maps have to the place they portray. The map is not the territory. A map is not a map without abstraction. But what you choose to abstract changes when your instruments allow you to portray the dynamism of real places. [oreilly radar]